Dec 03 2009

Climategate Escalating, Smoking Gun Could Be 1940’s ‘Blip’

A blog at CBS News, a news organization hardly unfriendly to liberal causes and climate alarmists, produced a very harsh report on climategate today:

Ripples created by the disclosure of global warming files now being called “ClimateGate” continue to spread, with congressional attention growing and the head of a prominent climate change group stepping aside.

The reverberations have extended beyond the campus of the University of East Anglia and the CRU. E-mail messages from Michael Mann, a professor in the meteorology department at Penn State University who has argued that mankind is threatening “entire ecosystems with extinction in the decades ahead if we continue to burn fossil fuels at current rates,” appeared in the leaked files. Now Penn State has opened an investigation into Mann’s work, and the U.K.’s weather agency has been forced on the defensive as well.

Some mainstream academics working in the area have distanced themselves from Mann, Jones, and other researchers whose correspondence has drawn allegations of impropriety. Aynsley Kellow, a professor at the University of Tasmania who was an expert reviewer for a U.N. global warming report, told ABC Radio there was evidence of a “willingness to manipulate raw data to suit predetermined results, you’ve got a resistance to any notion of transparency, an active resistance to freedom of information requests or quite reasonable requests from scientists to have a look at data so that it can be verified.”

Hans von Storch, director of the Director of Institute for Coastal Research who was assailed by Mann in one e-mail message, calls the CRU axis a “cartel” and suggests that Jones and others avoid reviewing papers. A colleague, Eduardo Zorita, went further and said Mann and his allies “should be barred” from future United Nations proceedings and warned that “the scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas.”

Sounds like a post from Air Vent or WUWT, not from the home of 60 Minutes. But I think this is just an early indication on how far this scandal could blow.

Another article at Reason touches on what could be the most damning email, which highlights easily demonstrable data manipulation by Jones and some US cohorts. The topic of fraud was how to hide the infamous 1930-40 warm period, which equals todays warm period:

Consider researcher Tom Wigley’s email describing his adjustments to mid-20th century global temperature data in order to lower an inconvenient warming “blip.” According to the global warming hypothesis, late 20th century man-made warming was supposed to be faster than earlier natural warming. But the data show rapid “natural” warming in the 1930s. Adjusting the 1940 temperature blip downward makes a better-looking trend line in support of the notion of rapidly accelerating man-made warming. Collecting and evaluating temperature data requires the exercise of scientific judgment, but Wigley’s emails suggest a convenient correction of 0.15 degree Celsius that fits the man-made global warming hypothesis. The adjustment may be reasonable—changes in instrumentation might need to be accounted for—but all raw data and the methodologies used to adjust them should be publicly available so others can check them to make sure.

From the email itself we discover the details on the conspiracy to fudge the data to fit the alarmists hypothesis:

Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs [AJSTrata: Sea Surface Temperarutes] to partly explain the 1940s warming blip.

If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know).

So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip.

It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”.

This ‘blip’ is easily seen in many of the CRU data runs from 2005 and 2008 which were made public by what some assume is a CRU insider with a conscience. These graphs show the raw ‘land’ blips, prior to data fudging. What Wigley is doing (ironic name, eh?) is making the mean Earth Temp in this period go down by pushing the ocean temps down significantly. This globally makes the current period look much warmer in comparison. Since the ocean represent 75% of the Earth’s surface this fudge factor is quiet weighty.

You can see the infamous blip in this CRU generated graph for Chile, March-April-May (MAM):

Notice how the 1940’s ‘blip’ dwarfs the current temperatures for the 2000’s, rising 0.6°C above today’s temperatures. Here are some others blips from Bolivia:

This email and these charts got me to wondering how bad the 1940’s blip was, which is why I went and looked at all the graphs and measured the pre-1960’s peak and compared them to the 2000’s peak – to see if there was actually a significant difference.

What I discovered surprised even me. Of all the countries graphed out in the CRU ‘raw’ data, 75% showed a peak-to-peak difference less than 0.5°C – which means they was no significant climate change for three quarters of the world’s land measurements. There are multiple reasons for 0.5°  to be a valid test of significance, but two of the most salient reasons are (1) the alarmists’ claim the Earth has experience 0.6° – 0.8°C or greater in the last 100 years and (2) ever since the Little Ice Age the Earth has been warming on average around the 0.5°C per century mark. I won’t even go into the issue of accuracy in the measurement data spanning 100 years.

Of the 25% which did show a temperature change outside this ‘normal’ range 6 countries (or 4%) showed significant cooling – not warming. Only 21% of the countries covered in the ‘pre-corrected’ CRU data showed significant warming. That means 79% of the land did not.

So how do you make charts that look like the CRU charts above look like this:

Wigley’s sea temp ‘adjustment’ could not do all the work, which is why the CRU code discovered that suppresses ground station (land) temps in the 1930’s and 1940’s while increasing current temps is one of those smoking guns no amount of misdirection and denial can bury.

Here’s the “fudge factor”:

valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor

Wigley would seem to be target number 1 for investigating. His mails with plan to fudge + CRU Temp Graphs with blips clear blips + CRU code which adjusts the graphs with blips = one big climategate scandal.

Tom Wigley is an American working at UCAR, which means he will be investigated by Congress since UCAR and The National Science Foundation are up to their shoulders in IPCC and probably CRU.

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Climategate Escalating, Smoking Gun Could Be 1940’s ‘Blip’”

  1. Jules Roy says:

    Charles Johnson: ” the CRU theft was a criminal attempt to sabotage the Copenhagen climate summit, and the entire right wing blogosphere is complicit in the crime.”

    How does it feel to be complicit in a crime? Ha!

    Actually, this is one of the few issues I think you’ve got right. (Your coverage has been very informative too)

    As for the 1940 blip even if it is a ‘smoking gun’ will it matter politically speaking if it never gets reported by the MSM? The major US media have largely ignored it. The French media have said nothing. Only a couple of known conservative Canadian papers are reporting it. Just last night the BBC had another report on the urgency of stopping global warming. Obama is still going to Copenhagen. I don’t think anything is going to change.

  2. gary1son says:

    All Charles has to say is that CBS got this story wrong too, just like when they tried to nail Bush with fake documents. 🙂

  3. AJStrata says:

    Come on Jules, I did not get Able Danger or FISA-NSA or the Downing Street Memos right?

    As to your question will it matter – yes it will because the politicians are realizing they may be standing on very shaky ground. Public opinion is turning away from the concept of AGW, the planet is cooling, and the pols don’t have the first clue who is right.

    So when they see something so clear as this, something even they can grasp, they will move. Once the pols run for cover it is over.

  4. […] In a follow up to my previous post regarding how the cover up of the warm period seen globally in the 1930’s -1940’s is probably the best documented, easiest to grasp case of falsifying raw data to create the myth of runaway global warming (and thus man-made  global warming) we have some news with a reminder that NASA’s GISS was already caught once trying to hide the blip: Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s. […]

  5. Dc says:

    I have a feeling that Charles is going to one day be looking at an animated gif of 2 or 3 different charts showing a data (curve) that have obviously been manipulated and it’s going to be very hard to deny. But, given that he can’t even admit the procedural issues that these emails point to and how bad it is (..preferring to continue to insist only that it was bad they were stolen” and exposed), I would imagine he’s just going to be like Dan Rather and continue to insist that the manipulation was innocent, and that while the motives behind why the chart data was altered might be in question, the story behind it is “real”.

    Given their behavior, it’s ironic that they call people who question their tactics, motives, money, data and conclusions…science “deniers”. It’s further ironic that they view this all as a “smear” campaign, designed to cloud the issues and truth behind the science, funded by big money. Not to mention the use of scare tactics. Pot…meet kettle.

  6. AJStrata says:


    Charles may never come around. Honestly – who cares? Their will always be a lot of heads in the sand on this one.

  7. stan says:


    I think you might want to incorporate the work that ChiefIO was done on GISSTemp. JeffId has a link to him. The most significant of his findings — the oldest continuous sites show no warming trend over the last 100 years. That’s hundreds of sites around the world. Lots of other interesting stuff, too.

    I agree that a smoking gun or guns is an effective way to blow a hole in the alarmist case. But I also think that people need to focus on the gross incompetence. Mann obviously has been exposed as an amateur at stats and software who has bungled everything he touched. But he’s not alone. CRU and GISS both have been exposed as amateur garbage. So has Tom Karl and Tom Peterson’s outfit. The biggest aspect of Anthony Watts’ expose is not that the siting is so horrible (bad enough), but that no one was competent enough to think to check the instruments. What a bunch of bozos! What kind of scientist doesn’t think to check and calibrate his instruments?! Yet, NONE of them did. Amazing.

  8. AJStrata says:


    I did on one post. Please provide a link and I will!

  9. Dc says:

    You’re right AJ. I just find it ironic — given all the effort on the whole rathergate memo fiasco. And also, how similar in some ways this is. There were people at the time, I recall, who insisted that there “were” typesetting machines at the time that “could” possibly do superscript, etc…and besides …that didn’t change the fact that the information was “true” and there were witnesses (a consensus) that it was true, and further witnesses that thought it might be, or could be true.

    In the end, it was the fact that it was such a close match for “Word”, and the animated gif, that put it over the top…..if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck….its a duck. That and the continual drips and drabs…that it wasn’t properly vetted, etc…without CBS every admitting it was a fraud.

    Now we have the duck quacking, and someone already stepping aside (M Mapes)..and awaiting the internal investigation (internal whitewash without admitting anything). The drips and drabs are starting to come out…and he’s still insisting its all nothing. Like you said…doesn’t really matter. But, can’t help noticing the irony.

  10. […] Climategate Escalating, Smoking Gun Could Be 1940’s ‘Blip’ […]

  11. Neo says:

    The head of the UN’s climate science body says claims that UK scientists manipulated data on global warming should be investigated.

    Dr Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said the matter could not be swept “under the carpet”.

    I guess you can’t subvert the investigation from the outside.

  12. […] Climategate Escalating, Smoking Gun Could Be 1940’s ‘Blip’ […]